In this day and age, with the development of Industry 4.0 as well as the birth of a series of large and small companies in the world, children are increasingly exposed to society early and have the opportunity to experience real-life situations and learn knowledge beyond books. Therefore, the question of whether school-based knowledge examinations accurately and effectively assess students’ abilities is a hotly debated topic.
In my opinion, as a student, school-based knowledge tests in school cannot fully assess the effectiveness of teaching and student understanding because the scores of these tests do not reflect the student’s full potential.
Reason #1: cheating.
Regardless of the city or country, schools and teachers cannot prevent or control student cheating on exams. Academic cheating not only causes students’ scores to be higher than they are capable of, but it also causes teachers to misjudge students’ understanding. In addition, the success of cheating and the achievement of high scores will make students feel proud when they think that they do not need to study to pass the test.
As a result, when the school and teachers tighten the rules and the students have no way to cheat on the test, they will fail the test and get poor results, which will leave a mark that cannot be erased from prospective college transcripts.
Moreover, with the emergence of the COVID-19 epidemic, classes have had to switch to online learning and testing, which makes it even easier for students to cheat in exams. With the help of the internet and technology tools, students can easily surpass teachers and get high scores on tests without having to study.
Reason #2: The tests are far from students’ real life.
The content taught in the textbooks as well as the knowledge in the students’ tests are often unrealistic and foreign to students. For example, instead of students being taught practical skills like doing housework to become independent or working hard for themselves, students spend hours and hours studying Einstein’s laws of physics – even when they do not understand what they will use this law for in life.
This not only makes students feel tired of having to learn advanced knowledge but also makes them think that as long as they learn well the knowledge in the textbook to get a good score in the exam, they will succeed in the future. Therefore, students will only memorize the content that the teacher tells them to “appear in the test” to take the exam and achieve high results. At that time, these tests do not assess students’ ability to learn, practice, absorb or apply, but only to assess their ability to memorize.
Taking Literature as an example, in Vietnam, at the high school level, instead of teaching students how to use language most effectively in communication and writing for their future work to achieve their goals, the schools and teachers only pay attention to teaching students how to write. The teachers give the students the sample literary works so that they can memorize everything and pass the final exams at school as well as the university entrance examination – the students only learn to memorize and not the actual content.
Reason #3: These tests cannot fully assess a student’s ability
For example, a student’s musical or artistic potential can hardly be discovered and assessed through assessment tests of physics, chemistry, or biology. These tests only measure a student’s ability to learn core subjects like math, literature, physics, etc and will easily overlook a student’s potential in other areas like sports and music. Not only that, but this also makes students think that only do well in the main subjects in school to be successful and earn a lot of money, while music, art or sports careers are not important and cannot help them to earn a living.
Not only that, but these tests cannot assess the necessary and practical skills that students need in their future lives, such as leadership and teamwork. Nowadays, the requirements of employers about the working skills of candidates are increasing day by day. However, school-based knowledge tests in schools cannot assess these skills and at the same time make students think that they only need to learn theory without having to hone or other practical skills. As a result, there are a large number of graduates who cannot find work because of the lack of skills necessary for employment, which schools or school tests cannot teach them.
Therefore, I believe that we should change the way schools teach and provide students with examinations so that we can evaluate them more comprehensively and fully to discover their potential in different fields as well as make them learn all the necessary and practical skills for their future careers.
At Project Sprouts, we realize that we can not solve all the problems of poverty in a situation like this. But we can seek to make a difference in the lives of needy children by giving them school supplies and encouraging them to continue their education; we can give them winter coats, boots, and blankets to help them stay warm during the cold winter months.
Project Sprouts would love to have you be a part of our community and help us help worthy children in North Vietnam. We cannot solve all the world’s problems, but we can do our part to help poor kids grow by giving school supplies, winter coats, boots, and other supplies.
You can find out more about Project Sprouts by clicking here or going to our give now page to donate by clicking here. As we are a grassroots organization, all funds go to help those in need.
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